City leaders discuss recent violence in Minneapolis

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As the uptick in violent crime continues in the city of Minneapolis, leaders are talking about how they could calm some of the unrest.

They announced a series of closed-door "emergency meetings" with community members and violence experts, as the city continues to see an uptick in violent crime.

"Tensions are high right now in our city, and unfortunately that results in violence," said Sasha Cotton, director at Minneapolis Office of Violence Prevention. 

The increased number of violent crime in Minneapolis is stark. Year-to-date, there have been 27 homicides reported in Minneapolis, compared to the 15 total people killed this time last year. 

Cotton says, violence, much like the pandemic, is a "contagious" situation. 

"We know that people who have been injured by violence may be feeling a need to retaliate," Cotton said. "We want to interrupt those patterns of retaliation."

One strategy announced during the multi-department press conference includes a "next step" model, which means a hospital-based violence prevention response protocol team. 

"We also want to ensure that as people are getting stitched up from bullets. Unfortunately, we know that that's happening in our city right now, that they're also getting the critical social services that they need wrapped around resources to make sure they go home to the best set of circumstances after a really traumatic event," Cotton said.

Friday morning, discussions will continue as the Minneapolis City Council meets to discuss possible amendments to the city charter that would create a "Department of Community Safety."